I’m sure by now you have seen the initial line up for Summer Camp 2014 (which, by the way, features just a FRACTION of the over 75 bands that will play). For me, just knowing moe. and Umphrey’s will be there every year is enough, but let’s take a closer look at all of the other awesome artists that will be raging into Three Sisters Park this May!
I will never forget the first time I saw Bassnectar live. It was an experience for sure. The craziest part of seeing him that night; it was right after Furthur played. So after seeing Furthur’s epic performance, going into something like Bassnectar literally blew people away. I remember going into a Porta Potty right next to the stage and it was literally moving with the bass. I have seen Bassnectar (Lorin Ashton ) countless times since and I had a blast every single time.
Lorin’s stage energy is great and his production set up is always top notch. Bassnectar for me is one of those acts that are meant for a festival. Sure, he’s fun in a club setting, but raging with thousands of people at Summer Camp is going to be a night to remember.
Check out when Bassnectar killed it at Summer Camp in 2010:
Bassnectar fun fact: When starting out, Lorin’s stage name was DJ Lorin. He released his first album in 2001, and it wasn’t until 2002 that he founded his stage name, Bassnectar.
Trey Anastasio Band
If you were at Summer Camp 2013, I’m sure Trey Anastasio Band was on your wish list to return this year! I don’t like letting the weather ruin my fun, so I still (along mannnny others) got down to Trey on Sunday of Summer Camp 2013, and i’m sure he’ll pick up right where he left off this last year! I’m so extremely excited! For those that don’t know, Trey Anastasio is Phish’s lead guitarist and vocalist.
Trey Anastasio’s Band is made up of Russ Lawton on drums, Tony Markellis on bass, Cyro Baptista on percussion, Ray Paczkowski on keys, Jennifer Hartswick on trumpet and vocals, Natalie Cressman on trombone and vocals, and of course, Trey Anastasio on guitar and vocals! One of my personal favorite songs is “Architect”. This team of amazing musicians is one not to be missed.
Trey Anastasio Band fun fact: Trey Anastasio Band first made their debut in 1998. What started off with only 3 members has grown into the wide range sounds of what TAB ( Trey Anastasio Band for short ) is today.
Primus is one of the most unique acts of any band I have seen. Part of that for me is the vocals and talent of bassist / vocalist Les Claypool. The rest of Primus is made up of guitarist Larry LaLonde and drummer Tim Alexander.
Although I have been listening to Primus for a long time, it wasn’t until 2010 that I had my first chance to catch them live. When the lights dimmed and the mysterious intro music started, I grinned a large smile and I knew I was in for a treat. What I actually saw throughout their whole set was something I have never seen before in a live act. Les Claypool is a very interactive vocalist. In between many of their songs, he goes on a hysterical banter with his interesting voice. Normally I can do without artists talking in between songs, but I actually embrace it! Many people that witnessed Primus at Summer Camp in 2012 claim it to be one of the most epic sets. Well, they are ready to party it back up at Summer Camp this year, and I for one am smiling ear to ear once again!
Check out Primus live when Bob Weir sat in from Summer Camp 2012:
Primus fun fact: Primus has a catchphrase, being “Primus sucks!”. When fans say this, it often confuses new listeners. In 2011, Les did say that he got tired of fans saying it.
Yonder Mountain String Band
YEEEEHAAAWWWW! Yonder Mountain String Band. YONDER MOUNTAIN STRING BAND! Seriously, I NEVER get tired of seeing these guys live. They are what got me into bluegrass. It’s hard to explain to people that aren’t familiar with these guys, or bluegrass in general, how hard they rage live. Their foot stomping fun is comprised of Jeff Austin on mandolin and vocals, Ben Kaufmann on bass and vocals, Dave Johnston on banjo and vocals, and Adam Aijala on guitar and vocals. I’m not sure if it’s because of the lack of drums in the band (and I don’t say that in a negative way, I love it), but the way the audience dances at a Yonder show is awesome. It’s almost as if everyone dances as the drummer keeping the beat.
Seeing Yonder this past year at Summer Camp two times was a very cool. My favorite of the two was their barn set. If you were one of the lucky ones to see them perform in the barn Friday night, you know how special it was. Especially late night ( although seeing them around 6 PM with a full sun is awesome ). I can’t wait to see what the guys bring to the stage this year at Summer Camp.
Check out this video of Yonder late night in the Red Barn at Summer Camp 2013:
Yonder Mountain String Band fun fact: When Dave Johnston and Jeff Austin first met, Dave asked Jeff to join and sing in his band, The Bluegrassholes. It was then that Jeff revealed he had a mandolin, and Dave said bring it along; “just play it fast and loud!”
Lotus. LOTUS. LOTTTTUSSSS! I’m pretty sure that’s what muttered out of my mouth when I saw they were on this years line up. Lotus has and always will hold a special place in my heart. I have seen these guys so many times I have lost count, and I have never seen a bad set by them!
Lotus is made up of Mike Rempel on guitar, Jesse Miller on bass and sampler, Mike Greenfield on drums, Luke Miller on guitar and keyboards, and Chuck Morris on percussion.
I think what I love most about Lotus is the way that they build up their sets until your face is officially melted off. I’m not kidding either. When they get into their epic jams, I loose my mind. The whole audience is connected into the band, and the band into the audience and everyone is just feeding off each others energy. Not only are these guys amazing musicians, but if you ever get the chance to speak with these guys, they are very down to earth. For me personally, Lotus at Summer Camp is what’s on my mind. I will be seeing them perform multiple times in between then, but nothing is better then Lotus raging Summer Camp!
Check out this video of Lotus playing “Backlight Sunflare” at Summer Camp 2011:
Lotus fun fact: Jesse and Luke Miller are brothers. Also, Lotus has done many themed shows. On October 31, 2008 at the TLA in Philadelphia the show was billed as “Live Fast Die Young: the 27 Conspiracy”. Each of the 5 members dressed as a rock star who died at the age of 27 (Kurt Cobain, Jimi Hendrix, Brian Jones, Pigpen, and Jim Morrison) and the show featured covers by each of the respective bands.
Comprised of String Cheese Incidents Michael Travis and Jason Hann, these dudes know how to bring the energy! What really sets EOTO apart from other electronic artists is their music is created without prerecorded loops! It’s all improv, and all loops are created right then and there! Onstage, they use Abelton live as their primary software for looping. Every time I have seen EOTO has been a much different.. not in bad way! Their stage set up is called the Lotus Flower and utilized 3D mapping to project really cool art work on to the set up.
EOTO fun fact: EOTO originally started out as End Of Time Observatory, with the members often calling themselves EOTO. Many Japanese fans explained EOTO means “good sound” in Japanese, and the band decided to officially stick with the name EOTO instead.
Keller Williams is a “one man jam band” hailing from Fredericksburg, Virginia. Using loop recording, his live shows mimic a full four piece act on stage. If you close your eyes at one of his shows, you often forget there is only one guy up there making music. It takes a lot of talent to do what he does, and he does it very well at that!
Keller uniquely blends bluegrass, folk, rock, reggae, electronica, jazz, and funk all together into an epic dance party. Keller often plays Grateful Dead songs which is always a plus in my book! I was able to catch a couple songs when he played as Keller Williams with More Than a Little right before Umphrey’s on Friday Night this past Summer Camp. It was so good!
Keller Williams fun fact: Keller Williams never took any lessons. He is a self taught musician!
The funkiest group returns to Summer Camp! If you have seen them perform before, then I know how happy you are that they are returning on the line up! They were so amazing at Summer Camp this past year as they funkified the Moonshine stage! About half way into their set, it started raining pretty good, but it felt so right in that moment and time! Everyone got crazier and really started dancing around like wild animals!
Lettuce is made up of Eric Krasno on guitar, Adam Smirnoff on guitar, Neal Evans on keys, Adam Deitch on drums, Erick Coomes on bass, Sam Kininger on sax, Ryan Zoidis on sax, and Nigel Hall on vocals. All of these guys are so talented! They have all found success in other acts as well, all touring in different groups around the world when not playing with Lettuce. They are an act to NOT miss when Summer Camp arrives!
Lettuce fun fact: In the fall of 1994, the band reconvened as undergrads at Berklee and attempted to play at various Boston jazz clubs, walking in and asking the club owners and other musicians if they would “let us play”, giving birth to the name Lettuce.
Beats Antique is an American experimental world fusion and electronic music group. They were formed in California in 2007. I like to heavily emphasize the world fusion part… If you have seen them or at least even heard their music, you understand what I’m referring to. Their shows are so outrageously unique! Made up of David Satori, Zoe Jakes, and Tommy Cappel, Beats Antique is another act I recommend checking out! Their shows somehow remind me of a Cirque de soleil show. They feature belly dancing and many different characters/costumes dancing about.
Beats Antique fun fact:
Zoe Jakes began belly dancing in 2000, but is a lifelong dancer, having 10 years of jazz and ballet dance experience under her belt. Her belly dancing is a blend of traditional belly dance with tango, popping, and indian dance.
Hailing from Chicago, Future Rock combines elements of Electronica, Progressive House, and dance rock. The band consists of Felix Moreno on bass guitar and synthesizer, Mickey Kellerman on keyboards and synthesizers, and Darren Heitz on drums and synthesizer. Future Rock was so cool in the Red Barn this past year. They brought the heat in there!
Check out this video of Future Rock late night from the Red Barn at Summer Camp 2013:
Future Rock fun fact: They once performed as Aphex Rock, performing a full set of music by Aphex Twin.
Other Summer Camp 2014 Artists
The other acts announced in the first round are Bro Safari, Wick-it the Instigator, Family Groove Company, This Must Be the Band, The Floozies, Henhouse Prowlers, DJ SOLO, Manic Focus, The Delta Saints, IndigoSun, Robotic Pirate Monkey, DUGASMUSIC, Sun Stereo, The Black Cadillacs, Old Shoe, Chicago Farmer’s New Feat with Old Shoe, Positive Vibr8ions, Caroline Rose, Brainchild, and Bone Jugs N Harmony. And there are many more to come – over 75 bands on 7 stages!
All I can say is WOW! Summer Camp always finds a way to keep making adding fun to the party year after year! Get your tickets now! You don’t want to miss this!
If you happened to miss the official video announcing this first round of artits, make sure to check it out below:
Eliot Lipp has been on the top of my list of producers to always catch live ever since seeing him for the first time last year opening for Conspirator in Buffalo. It’s always an awesome feeling seeing someone for the first time and leaving jaw dropped. Since then I have seen him countless times, and each show has been its own unique experience. Eliot’s style is unlike any other, which makes him truly one of a kind.
Eliot’s smooth style has had venues across the world dancing their hearts our for over 8 years, and he’s bringing his unique beats to Chicago at the Aragon Ballroom opening for Pretty Lights on November 9th!
If you have never heard of Eliot Lipp, you are missing out! Check out this live clip:
I had the awesome opportunity to catch up with Eliot Lipp. Check out what he had to say!
Kyle – How did you start out producing?
Eliot - I gathered some hand-me-down gear from other producers, a sampler, a keyboard, drum machine etc…I pretty much taught myself how to make simple beats and then just kept progressing.
Kyle – I noticed you do a lot of stuff with your midi keyboard .. Do you improv at your shows?
Eliot - Yeah some songs have moments where I solo on the synth. I definitely don’t plan my sets out ahead of time, I like to play off the crowd’s energy so improv is important.
Kyle – You’re supporting Pretty Lights at the Aragon Theater in Chicago. What do you like best about playing larger venues?
Eliot - You get treated better at the bigger venues, sometimes it’s bad though because I’ll get spoiled after being on tour with PL or a bigger artist and then I go back to playing small clubs again and I’m like “where’s my spring water & organic kombucha”.
Kyle – How do you construct your set opening for someone such as Pretty Lights verse headlining your own show?
Eliot - I rehearse about 50 or so songs before I go out on tour so I have a large arsenal in the cue. Once I get on stage I start to decide what songs to begin with based on the vibe in the room and depending on the crowd’s response I’ll move the set in different directions.
Kyle – When did you sign with Pretty Lights music?
Eliot - A year & a half ago before Shark Wolf Rabbit Snake came out.
Kyle – You have a very unique sound. What are some of your biggest influences in your music?
Eliot – RJD2, The Alchemist, Mux Mool, Richie Hawtin, Daft Punk, Just Blaze, Jay Dilla, Flosstradamus, Kanye, Aphex Twin etc… I’ve been listening to lots of classical music this year too though, my favorite album lately is “The Four Seasons Recomposed by Max Richter”
Kyle – What is your favorite piece of equipment you use live?
Eliot - My Korg MS-20. It was the first analog synth I ever bought and it’s got an amazing tone.
Kyle – Do you often collaborate with other artists?
Eliot - Yes, I made a track with Wick-It last year, and me and Michal Menert made Gettin’ Money. And I have collabs with Mux Mool, Supervision and more coming up on my next album.
Kyle – You have been playing with a live band. What is your favorite part about that?
Eliot - Collaborating live, creating something completely unique at every show, improvising.
Kyle – How did the live band act come about?
Eliot - I met my drummer Cru Jones when he was playing in Michna’s live band a few years ago, and Nick Bockrath my guitarist has been on a bunch of bills with me in the past. I think stylistically the three of us really create a solid sonic palate.
Kyle – What is one of your all time favorite cities to play?
Eliot - Austin is probably #1, but I also love Minneapolis, Tacoma, San Francisco & Brooklyn.
Kyle – What are some activities you enjoy outside of the music world?
Eliot - I like Painting, and hiking, and eating.
Kyle – What’s your favorite food?
Eliot – Avacado!
Kyle – If you could play anywhere in the world, where would it be?
Eliot - It’d be fun to close down the golden gate bridge for a night and have a show there. Or maybe deep in the Olympic mountains, in the rainforest on a day that it doesn’t rain.
Kyle – Where do you see electronic music in 20 years?
Eliot – I think tablets, computers and midi controllers will be more fully realized as musical instruments. The “human” element in live compositions and performances will be much more advanced. I think what is now considered EDM will continue to evolve and fragment into new genres. The way we listen to music will evolve and we will become more accustomed the subtleties of sound texture. I think complex melodies will return to popular music and harmonies will replace the cheap sensation of giant sweeps and bass drops, songs will be guided more by their musicallity. Music is the universal language of raw human emotion, it’s how we understand each other culturally. Once a certain rhythm or melody has cultural relevance it can represent a new era & a new generation.
Kyle – What was your first gig like? Were you nervous?
Eliot - I was so nervous, it was in this warehouse on Chicago’s south side. I got physically sick because I was so freaked out.
Kyle – What’s your biggest advice for aspiring musicians?
Eliot - Be original, don’t lose your imagination.
If you are even on the fence about checking out the show on November 9th, or any Eliot Lipp show for that matter; do yourself a favor and go. You will not regret it! Check out other dates on Eliot Lipp’s current tour:
10/25 – The Tabernacle – Atlanta, GA
10/26 – New Earth Music Hall – Athens, GA
11/1 – Emo’s – Austin, TX
11/2 – Suwannee Hulaween – Live Oaks, FL
11/7 – Mojo’s – Columbia, MO
11/8 – 2720 Cheokee – St Louis, MO
11/9 – The Aragon Ballroom – Chicago, IL
11/29 – 1015 Folsom – San Fransisco, CA
12/4 – Shaka’s – Virginia Beach, VA
12/5 – The Camel – Richmond, VA
12/7 – The Park Bar – Detroit, MI
12/12 – Samana Lounge – Vail, CO
12/13 – Three20south – Breckenridge, CO
12/14 – Cervantes’ Other Side – Denver, CO
12/26 – Whiskey Jacques – Ketchum, ID
Do you smell that crisp September air? You know what that means; the sad realization that the 2013 Festival season is coming to a close. But hey, as Dr. Seuss said, ” Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened. ” Looking back at the festival timeline from May until now, I have a grin from ear to ear!
If it was possible, I would travel America during the festival season going from one to the next. For now, that is not possible as other life commitments don’t allow for that. These are the reasons though that festivals mean so much to me. They allow you to connect with other like minded individuals and set yourself free from outside worries that life throws at you. The feeling of arriving at a festival is something extremely unique and my whole body craves it.
For me, I was lucky enough to hit up four festivals this summer.
Starting off, I went to Nelson Ledges Quarry Park in Garretsville, OH May 10-12 for a weekend of Papadosio. The weather wasn’t what you want for a festival; it was cold and rainy. That never gets in the way for me of having a great time. As long as you look ahead and prepare for the weather at a festival, you should be golden.
It was a very enjoyable weekend. Papadosio played amazing as usual, and their new light set up they have been using really zones you out into their sets. Other acts that were there include Broccoli Samurai, Fletcher’s Groove, and Color Wheel.
Check out a clip from Papadosio playing at Spring Dance:
Spring Dance really got me primed up for the most amazing festival experience I have EVER had, being Summer Camp! It was the furthest drive I took this summer for a festival, taking about 11.5 hours and 700 miles! Nothing makes me happier then being on the open road, and even more so when you know where the road leads to.
Summer Camps line up always has something for everyone! My top 5 favorite acts I saw were moe, Umphrey’s Mcgee, STS9, Yonder Mountain String Band, and Gramatik. That’s actually hard to write though, because I did not see ONE bad act at Summer Camp! Looking back, I am upset that I missed out on Nahko & Medicine for the People! Their newest album, Dark as Night, truly has been my favorite album this summer.
Being the Summer Camp counselor was not only an honor during that weekend, but is an experience that has kept on going since then. My best memory of that whole weekend was being in moes trailer and having them along with Victor Wooten perform a private set to my brother, my sister, my girlfriend, and myself. Checkout a clip of that performance here:
I also had the opportunity of announcing moe right before they took the stage for the first time on Friday!:
I had so many other memories from that weekend that keep my soul smiling. Another one that sticks out was being on stage for Umphrey’s McGee on Friday:
The crowd at Summer Camp was amazing too! It’s clear that Summer Camp is a more than a festival, it’s a family! Even during the craziest of rain at Scamp, I held on to my smile because I was with the Summer Camp family and NOTHING could stop us from having a good time!
I had a nice solid month in between my next festival, Electric Forest, which ran from June 27- June 30th.
Electric Forest was another glorious festival. Their line up is a little more electronic, but what really drew me there was 3 nights of String Cheese Incident. I had never seen them before going, and it’s been a mission of mine for a very long time! They blew away my expectations!
Electric Forest was another festival that had a strong community feel. Everyone was very awesome! Even more so then the music, the community can make or break the feel of a festival.
My top 5 acts of Electric Forest include: String Cheese Incident, Lotus, Empire of the Sun, Nahko and Medicine for the People, and Railroad Earth. The only thing I did not care for about EFF, was that general admission gives you a very small plot of camping space. We barely were able to fit everything we had in the area; however I understood the size of the festival and that it was necessary to fit everyone in.
Ah yes, last but not least, my most recent and sadly my last festival of the season, Summer Dance.
Summer Dance takes place at Nelson Ledges Quarry Park, and for me, this was the first and last location for my summer of festivals which was awesome! Summer Dance took place from August 30 – September 2. The line up was awesome which included 2 nights of lotus ( 4 sets total ), One More Time ( Daft Punk Tribute ), Broccoli Samurai, Future Rock, Orchard Lounge, The Manhattan Project and more!
It was an awesome way to close out the festival season. One of my favorite parts of Nelson Ledges is they have a quarry in which you can swim and jump off into! It’s so refreshing and it’s awesome that you can swim and listen to music at the same time.
Here’s a clip of Lotus raging this year at Summer Dance:
And with all that awesomeness, that’s all she wrote for this year in my book! It was an awesome ride and I can’t wait to do it all again next year hopefully adding even more into the mix!
Although this is the end for me, there are still tons of other festivals happening this season, including Catskill Chill, Lockn’, Night Lights fall Music Festival and more!
Even though it’s all coming to an end, there is something we can all agree on that is fun in the fall; MORE MUSIC! All of the fall tours are starting to flow out every day and I’m liking what I see!
I hope everyone else’s festival season was as good as mine! Until next year…
-Camp Counselor Kyle
Whoa! Thursday truly was a pre-party rager. Getting into Summer Camp was very smooth and everyone was clearly ready to party since the moment their cars entered the grounds. There was a nice mist flowing in when I first arrived in line, and it felt super refreshing and actually got me really pumped up! Every time the sun started peaking, everyone in line started getting rowdy.
My crew set up camp really fast in an awesome spot in the woods, and I was eager to go see some music with some awesome friends! I was able to catch a glimpse of Cosby Sweater on the Campfire stage and they killed it. My main goal Thursday night was to see Cornmeal since it would be my last time to see Allie play on stage and they killed it! Looking around, everyone in the whole crowd was dancing away with nothing but smiles. I was very happy that I was able to see them as that line up one last time. Right when Cornmeal ended, I wondered into the Vibe Tent and caught Positive Vibra8tions, and they killed it. I love being able to catch artists I have never heard of before, and even more so when they kill it!
Digital Tape Machine was up next and they are another act I have been waiting to see for a long time and they truly were awesome. Their set kept evolving and by the end it kept me wanting more. They really got the crowd pumped up for the weekend to come! This is the reason I love music festivals, and especially Summer Camp! You just keep going back and forth between awesome music and the stages are just minutes walk.
I went into the Red Barn at 11 to check it out in there and it was for sure a party. Minnesota killed it! He really had everyone going crazy in there, it was a rager. I love UV Hippo and was so pumped to catch them. The first time I saw them, I was hooked. They really kill it in the festival scene, and was so pumped to see them rage the Vibe Tent.
It was time for bed after that. It was an awesome first day of Summer Camp and I’m so excited for the awesome music to come. Friday is going to be a blast, announcing Moe and the awesome music to come. I’m really looking forward to Yonder, STS9, and Big Gigantic to name a few.
2013 Summer Camp Counselor
Wow! The weekend we have all been anxiously awaiting for has arrived. It has been a crazy ride so far, and the festival hasn’t even started. I’m so excited to have been named the 2013 Summer Camp Counselor! It is honestly an honor to be the third ever! The other CIT’s, Carmel, Alex, Sean, Woody, Eric and Brad, all gave me a fun fight to earn the title, and I’m very proud to rage with them in this family we call the counselors! I also wanted to give a shout out to my family and friends who helped support my campaign and believed I could do it! I’m even more proud to be raging with many of them this weekend.
Lets be honest.This line up is sick sick and SICK! Every single time that I logged into Facebook since November, I made it a point to go right to Summer Camp’s page to see if any more amazing artists would be announced, and every time I didn’t think it could get any better, it did. Summer Camp clearly knows how to put on a stellar line up each and every year with no signs of slowing down in the future. There are so many artists that I’m looking forward to. Starting off right from the beginning, giving us MOE and UMPHREY’S 3 days is a staple of Summer Camp. You don’t even have to know the rest of the line up to want to come to Summer Camp. That’s enough to get us all in our car traveling with our friends with that amazing May wind blowing in our face blasting some pre-camp music! I love the open road, and the 12 hour drive from the chicken wing capital of Buffalo was refreshing. Thinking of this line up gets me more pumped up then when I was a little dude on christmas morning! I mean, who isn’t PUMPED for 2 FULL sets up Trey Anastasio Band?! I don’t think there will be anyone not smiling from ear to ear during both sets ( let alone the whole weekend ). I’m also super excited for STS9, Yonder Mountain String Band, UV Hippo, Gramatik, and of course coming from my hometown of Buffalo, NY, Aqueous. Do NOT miss Aqueous at 11 AM Sunday at the Campfire Stage! These dudes seriously bring it! Who am I kidding though? I’m excited for this whole line up! It’s really hard to just name a few. I’m smiling just typing this out thinking about the late nights as well. There is so much going on it’s going to be one glorious adventure which I can NOT wait to spend with each and every one of you! Don’t forget, we are all one big family… Look out for each other. Lets make this a safe weekend that will be unforgettable.
See you guys soon!
Kyle Hess 2013 Summer Camp Counselor